Starbucks, ABC responses to racist incidents show business value of decisive action

The dual responses from Starbucks Corp. and ABC Entertainment to recent racist incidents shocked some onlookers, but corporate reputation experts and civil rights activists say the need for decisive action—despite the controversy it may cause—is now a business imperative.

At this point, all companies should be prepared for an inevitable corporate crisis. However, businesses must do more than simply pay lip service to an incident that has gone viral.

“You’re going to see a lot of this rapid corporate response to ‘reputation tornadoes,’” said Dr. Nir Kossovsky, author and chief executive of Steel City Re, a corporate reputation insurance firm.

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